Kindred Black was founded in 2015 by Alice Kindred Wells and Jennifer Black Francis. Environmentally focused, the brand offers natural, plastic-free artisan skincare, cosmetics, and botanical perfumes paired with unexpected finds for the vanity, bedside, and home.
We founded Kindred Black because we were burnt out on the fashion industry. Feeling like we were drowning in a sea of plastic packaging waste, harsh fabric chemicals, and endless travels through countries with little regulation on manufacturing (and the air quality to prove it), we knew it was time for a change.
From the moment we conceived of our new endeavor we made the decision that instead of being the "please recycle this plastic bag" kind of company, we were going to take the onus of environmentalism on ourselves and make the tough and sometimes expensive choices that that would necessitate. In other words, talking about how important sustainability is means nothing if we dump it all squarely on your shoulders to deal with. We want you to love shopping with Kindred Black because we are luxury beauty paired with beautiful, unusual finds, but behind the scenes there's more to it than that.
We spend more than double in many cases to make sure that all of our packaging is in line with our mission. Our materials are plastic free and we use recycled boxes, recycled tissue paper, recycled kraft and shipping paper, water activated paper tape, and our custom wrapping papers are made with 100% PCW and are printed near our office with vegetable and soy inks. To replace plastic bubble wrap we use the most amazing and effective paper padding called Green Wrap, an alternative to plastic landfill that is biodegradable, compostable, SFI-certified, and fully recyclable. Our outer cartons are made by a family-run workshop with a lighter weight, uncoated paper that is FSC certified and acid, heavy metal, and elemental chlorine free. We wanted the unboxing experience to be as special as what’s in the box and our challenge was to create something beautiful that didn’t create a lot of excess waste.
Passionate believers in “the karmic wheel” we try to make giving back a big part of our mission as well. Over the last eight years we’ve donated percentages of our sales to The Durrell Foundation, The Environmental Defense Fund, The Center for Biological Diversity, Planned Parenthood, The Ocean Conservancy, The World Health Organization, CEDO (The Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans), Native Seeds in Arizona, the ACLU, GlassRoots, Color of Change, FIERCE, The Bail Project, RAPP, Every Last Vote, and others.
Kindred Black started life in 2015 as a place for us to connect shoppers with amazing artisans, designers, and makers of all kinds who are committed to eco-friendly, ethical, and low-impact manufacturing. We traveled, we researched, we talked the ear off of just about anyone we would end up in a room with to get recommendations, all to find natural ingredients, low-waste packaging, the use of recycled materials, and manufacturing in the US or that was local to the designer. We also love truffle hunting unexpected finds to pair with our beauty – the idea of the vanity of yesteryear is so intriguing and we still work with a network of jewelers, cleaners, seamstresses, and tailors to bring the life back to beautiful pre-owned, antique, vintage, and handmade pieces that are special and one-of-kind and best of all, already exist and don't require a single bit of waste to produce. We believe so fervently that new doesn't always mean better and there is no greater expression of personal style than a piece that you won't see anywhere else.
Over the years we found ourselves wanting to take more control of the sourcing, manufacturing, shipping, and packaging of our products throughout the entire creation process. In 2018 we began to partner with farmers, herbalists, and perfumers to expand our in-house line of exquisite, natural beauty, perfumes, and cosmetics in handblown glass vessels. The line is now a cult favorite for our effective, unusual ingredients and collectible artisan hand blown glass bottles. In 2023 we were able to take another step toward sustainability by releasing infinitely recyclable aluminum refill bottles for many of our products. We are committed to working toward greater heights of sustainability every year that we’re in business – the health of the planet is always our primary focus.
To this day, everything we do is informed by our mantra “love for our mother” – a planet-first mindset shared by the incredible artisans that we’re lucky enough to work with every day. We continue to seek ways to reduce our footprint, and to mine the eras of history when beauty was procured from nature and not a lab.
– Alice and Jenn, Co-Founders